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Friday, June 15, 2007

there remains beauty uncovered

Here on the left coast ... there's one race that makes me think back to those crazy days of the 80's when Americans were goin' all American Flyer about cycling.

Days of silly helmets and downtube shifters, Velo-Fros and 7/11, classicaly spoked wheels and the occasional mustache of bravura. (oh yeah, check that link)

The days before the science of cycling, power meters and carbonium chamois ~ the days of pure experimentation.
- -

Nevada City these days gets good crowds ... but not like those of the hey-days. This Sunday will see a core group of afficianados trekking into the foothills to watch one of the classics, one of the staples of American cycling ... part criterium, part kermesse, complete sufferfest.

But we won't see the crazies shoulder-to-shoulder and 5-deep up the twisties of that climbing mountain town ... the bare-shouldered, full-lunged partier just wanting a glimpse of greatness. Not these days.

Sport, like all human activity, is driven by personality. And what i mean is ... individuals who capture the spirit of greatness and potential greatness. We need characters and exploit, huge acts of defiance that make us laugh and shake our heads and wonder how they do it. We need unique stars that separate themselves with an independent brightness, a step outside the rest, a glorious and true love of what they do ...
- - -

This year we'll have BMC and the Rock-hoodlums showing up ... along with some of the SuccessfulLiving.whatever guys. Yeah, it'll be a decent group of American D3's going crazy fast up that hill, over and over again. It will be pro-racing. And, Moniger will likely shoot higher than any of the rest unless we can get BJM to show up.

Moniger ... great.

I mean, the dude is a hero. He's 40 and fast and only been popped once for "questionable dietary supplements" ... so, yippee for cycling.

But, i'd prefer a fresh, new face to have a break out performance. Someone to smash expectations and capture imaginations. Someone driven to ungodly speeds not as a result of cold science, unobtainium equipment, or because the product of the some USAC business model ... NO!

instead, i hope for something unexpected, someone breaking boundaries because they are winged to win by pure spirit, unyielding and innocent ambition, absolute and unquenchable desire.

- - -

Molly Van Howeling is logged in for the start. I will be very, very interested in how she tackes this year's NevCity. I'm hoping the PROMAN chicks send a full-monty crew to show their stuff - that could be an epic battle playing out.

And what of the VAC ladies ... will they put in one last glory shot before packing ship to Nature Valley GP? TIBCO?
- - -

yeah, and the old guys will be racing, too. total and complete warfare out there ... blah, blah, blah.

still, i won't miss it. i love it.

(thanks Glenn for the hookup on Mason's photos ... great stuff)


DHOLLA said...

Have twice as much fun for me big guy!

Im in the mother land right now for a "big money crit"

pays 50 deep, im almost gaurteened money.

If Erek is feeling good he should have a good ride.


Chico Cyclist said...

Oh man, I can't wait!!!! Love this race! Although, I still have a score to settle there.....

See you on Sunday Olaf!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

bring home the payola, holla.

chico! did you do some crazy 24hr race?

Lothar Glerbny said...

Sorry I am going to miss this one...well, not really.

But, I have to make left hand turns on Sunday or I will not get enough "training" to compete in July.

Good luck!

Nome Agusta said...

I liked BJM's reference,

Too funny!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

ah ... so that means you've got the cutter up and running?


Districts ... let's have some fun.

a full-bore bagboy binge on velodrome sweetness.

Steven Woo said...

Friend of mine wrote up your exploits last weekend:

dr-nitro said...

Argh. Probably gonna have to miss it. Too much driving. Too much grading.

Give 'em hell.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

doh, you'll be missed Nick. still, profs gotta do what profs gotta do.

Woo - that Rey is pretty buttah on a bike. cool cat. quiet, but once we started chatting, quite approachable.

when we gonna see you out there?

Steven Woo said...

New job this year, so may not be racing at night this season, but I will be filling in for Rick when he takes his one day of vacation in July. Maybe geezer districts when I think I get to go head to head against PAB in the pursuit and try to prevent some lappage!

Hooptie said...

That guy has great photos! The glory days of US Cycling.

Lyne said...

Amazing photos, thanks for the link.

CaliRado Cyclist said...


Nice. Thanks for the link and...can we get Andy to donate his original hair and teeth to the US Cycling Hall of Fame?

Throw in part of Davis' face from LBL, a couple pieces of buckshot from Greg's torso, a couple drops of Alexi's spit, some of Tyler's broken collar-bone, one of Lance's boys and a chunk of Floyd's hip and we could have ourselves a little Smithsonian of American Cycling.

One more thing, Scott Morning Hair may have to go down as the Best Purely Domestic US Rider The Vitamin Cottage or wherever he went owes Scotty some cash after the supplement fiasco so that is somewhat irrelevant.

But for real though, who else comes close that predominantly raced in the US and didn't sell out to Europe?

Is it even close?

Interesting topic...I smell a post coming on.

Peace and Good Luck.


Olaf Vanderhoot said...

having been shattered by that velo-fro's wheel too many times ...

he's got my vote.

supplements, or no.

Hooptie said...

Dam, Tilford even looked old 23 years ago!

CaliRado Cyclist said...

I was hesitant to put Morning Hair in the Velo Fro piece. He is more of a "Hair Band" kind of guy, but hey...what are you gonna do?

Safe to say he is still capable of a good "Power Ballad" a la Winger, Poison et al.

Oh and Hooptie - Tilford WAS old 23 years ago. Kansas does weird things to a guy.

shawndoggy said...

Grewal's helmet looks like he made it himself out of waterslide mats (remember those?).

But you can see the techno-creep already in those photos... look at how the fast guys mostly have the "aero" cable hiding brake levers.

And Cipo's velo-fro is so fly in those pics. Coulda seen him rollin' with Rick James in the day.

PROMANgirl said...

We are sending a solid team to Nevada City!